But then I realized that impact The Donald was going to have on our society and the world would come to its full fruition only as long as people like me turned my face away from what was happening. As long as people with privilege (educated, English-speaking, Caucasian, able-bodied - shall I go on?) deny their power and keep their voices silent, the devastating effect of Trump's bigotry, racism, misogyny, classism, Islamophobia (shall I go on?) will overpower the equality and the just and the fair and the love that has been growing and evolving in society--not just in North America, but around the world.
As I was strolling through Facebook last week, I came upon this video of Rabbi Sacks speaking about how the American presidential inauguration and the Christian concept of covenant are connected. Suddenly I felt like the scales fell from my eyes and I could finally understand why Americans seem so TENSE when one of their own fails to stand at attention during the Star Spangled Banner or if they do not place their hand over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance--which bears the question - why do they feel the need to pledge their allegiance all the time?
American patriotism took on a whole new level of intense in 2003 when the country band, The Dixie Chicks criticized George W. Bush at a concert they were playing in London. The band was vilified in the States because they dared to speak against the president, during war time, on foreign soil. I didn't understand the total hate the group received as a result of their 'free speech'. The careers of the three women were effectively ended as the American country music fans and artists publicly chastised them, burned their CDs and boycotted radio stations that dared to play their music. It was as if being American a patriot was an identity in and of itself and anyone who was not in TOTAL alignment other patriots, was an enemy of the state.
So, with all of this in mind, I went to my bookshelf and found Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw's book, Jesus for President. It had to be read next.
I heard Shane speak for the first time in 2011. He is a Christian who is trying to live his life as if Jesus meant everything he said and taught. He feeds the hungry, clothes the poor and gives shelter to the homeless. He knows how to connect with people. He knows how to speak the truth.
Jesus for President explores how the power and privilege within the American political system is not an unfamiliar story. Jesus' whole life and ministry bumped up against the oppressive and repressive Roman Empire. This book is full of challenge and great hope that there is some American out there who has a great understanding of what being Christian is all about.
My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man. My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood. It's to a king and a kingdom.**Derek Webb - the king/kingdom is reference to Jesus.